Daily TIP

Iran put on notice

Posted by Tip Staff - February 02, 2017
CC: Iran. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer doubled down today on comments National Security Advisor Michael Flynn made yesterday—namely “putting Iran on notice.”

“I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday, that Iran has violated the joint [UN Security Council] Resolution [2231, which codified the Iran nuclear deal]; that Iran's additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take,” Spicer said from the White House press room.

Spicer was referring to Iran’s recent ballistic missile test as well as the Iran-backed Houthi rebels’ attack on a Saudi naval vessel. (Fox News reported Monday that U.S. intelligence officials believe that the intended target of the attack was an American warship.) The missile test and naval incident “underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East,” Flynn said of the incident.

The United States is expected to impose sanctions on multiple Iranian entities as early as Friday following Tehran's ballistic missile test, a Reuters article noted Thursday. The sanctions will not violate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

An ambassador’s angle. Moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could “advance American national goals and interests,” Washington’s former ambassador to Israel wrote Tuesday in an essay for Foreign Policy.

Daniel Shapiro, who served as an envoy to Israel from 2011 until last month, explained that his support for the embassy move stemmed from his understanding of Jerusalem’s history and a “sense of justice for Jewish claims to the city that are far too often called into question.” Moving the embassy to parts of Jerusalem that the international community agrees would remain under Israeli sovereignty in any peace deal with the Palestinians “is one way of acknowledging the centuries of history that link the Jewish people to the city, the questioning of which is closely linked to the denial of Israel’s very legitimacy,” he noted.

From a practical standpoint, it also makes sense to place the embassy in the same city that hosts the offices of Israeli officials, Shapiro observed.

The former ambassador qualified his support for the move by stressing that it must be done in a carefully calculated manner. He acknowledged that since Congress overwhelmingly approved the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates that Washington relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, each U.S. president signed a six-month national security waiver to delay the move. Shapiro wrote that he agreed with the previous presidents’ decision to exercise their waiver authority “in the interest of pursuing Middle East peace.”

“But I have never believed that arguments for moving the embassy were groundless, or that it must await a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement,” he added. If the relocation was executed in a way that didn’t harm the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Shapiro wrote, then “it could actually advance the prospects for a two-state solution by shattering self-defeating myths on both sides.” He particularly recommended that it take place in consultation with all interested parties, including the Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians, and Saudis.

Growing closer. Israel and Turkey conducted their first strategic dialogue in six years in Ankara on Wednesday, Haaretz reported. Officials from both countries’ foreign ministries met and “the two countries agreed that two Turkish cabinet officials would visit Israel in the coming weeks – including the first visit by a Turkish minister in more than a decade, likely to take place next week.” According to a closing statement released by the parties after the talks, "Both sides viewed developments in the wide region, particularly in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean, and reaffirmed the importance of better Turkish-Israeli relations for the stability and the security of the region.” They also discussed business, academic, and cultural exchanges.

Turkish-Israeli ties had been strained since the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, when a flotilla under the control of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation—a group designated as a terror organization by the Netherlands and Germany—attempted to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. IDF troops faced an “organized and violent” assault from a group of passengers after boarding the ship, according to a UN report. Ten crew members were killed in the ensuing fight, and several Israeli soldiers were injured.

After the reconciliation agreement was reached this past June, Israeli leaders noted the significant economic potential of closer ties. “Trade between Israel and Turkey has more than doubled from the Marmara event up until today,” said Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, adding that the deal will bolster that growth with “joint projects in government level. People are speaking about gas and there are other issues that might emerge.” Turkey also sent Israel assistance to fight wildfires that raged throughout the country in November.

People with diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance are advised to spot-check their blood-glucose levels several times daily to reduce the risk of serious complications. That’s a lot of finger-pricking, considering that about 700 million people fall into one of those categories. The Israeli company Integrity Applications put more than a decade into developing GlucoTrack, described as the first truly noninvasive system for self-monitoring glucose levels. Instead of drawing blood, you clip the GlucoTrack sensor to your earlobe. A patented combination of ultrasonic, electromagnetic and thermal technologies works with a proprietary algorithm to measure physiological parameters correlated with glucose level. Results are displayed within about a minute on a USB-connected handheld control unit, which also stores and compares previous readings. The number is announced verbally, facilitating use by elderly and vision-impaired people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Sales in parts of Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand began in 2016, after the newest version of the device won regulatory approval in Europe and in South Korea. Integrity is soon beginning clinical trials of GlucoTrack Model DF-F in the United States required for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, and is working toward approval in China. (via Israel21c)

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